Juniper Networks’ new SD-WAN as-a-service solution joins the company’s expanding portfolio of cloud-delivered networking products while simultaneously overtaking rival SD-WAN solutions by including branch universal CPE, LAN and Wi-Fi.
Making SD-WAN available as a service allows enterprises from small to large to easily deploy and operate the industry's most scalable SD-Branch solution. The solution scales from 1 to 10,000 devices across branch, campus and cloud-based endpoints to easily grow with business needs.
SDN Distinctions are Operational
Just as technology shapes today’s enterprise, software and cloud shape how they operate. Orchestrating operations in the era of multicloud must span boundaries, end to end and top to bottom, across domains and layers. As we look at how software-defined networking (SDN) and AI for IT have evolved and advanced from the data center and WAN into all domains, operational accessibility appears through cloud-delivered offerings as a service.
How Juniper’s Contrail products differentiate themselves is precisely how operational value accrues from SDN: abstracted control and automated workflows. With the recent acquisition of Mist Systems, Juniper is clearly betting that the future of the enterprise will also be AI-driven.
In the enterprise, operations must be smart but simple. Contrail Service Orchestration allows organizations to create connections to all Juniper branch devices and cloud footprints within minutes. Everyday operations for these devices become automated and lifecycle management of all devices can be centrally orchestrated.
Contrail Service Orchestration offers organizations visibility across SD-WAN, as well as branch wired and wireless infrastructure. Monitoring and intelligent analytics offer real-time insight into network operations, allowing administrators to preempt looming threats and degradations, as well as pinpoint issues for faster recovery. This is the next logical step toward AI-driven operations, bringing even more automation and insight to the IT experience.
Security is constitutional to all aspects of IT. Juniper understands this and has fully integrated network security within our SDN offerings, providing organizations with cohesive, secure networks. Unlike other solutions in the marketplace, security is not an afterthought. Juniper Connected Security offers a vision for integrating automation, network management and security while providing a foundation for Juniper’s SD-WAN solution.
Enterprise networking covers a number of domains. Beyond the data center lay public clouds, edge-computing clouds and the increasingly multicloud WAN. Automation and agility are vital to enterprise networking in these domains; even traditional campus and branch LANs and WLANs are increasingly ruled by software.
SDN and AI, in their various applications, have elevated networking above the device level. With higher-order policies and oversight of a fleet of infrastructure, operations are reliable, faster and easier.
Management complexity and policy enforcement are traditional network administrator fears, while both data and network security are growing in importance for organizations of all sizes. “SDN first,” an approach explored within data centers and beyond, is proving its value for solving these challenges. Software-defined thinking is now diffused across all networking domains. But operating software is not equally accessible to all enterprise networking teams. While all networkers would relish the benefits of SDN, some may see unboxed software solutions as unfamiliar. Thus, many enterprises have found “SDN first” challenging to embrace.
Cloud-delivered SD-WAN removes the complexity of software operations, arguably the most difficult part of SDN. The on-premises SD-WAN solution, available for some time, is now offered as a service, bringing a managed cloud-delivered deployment option for the first time.
Contrail enables secure networking across distributed infrastructure by centralizing operations. This improves efficiency and automation, allowing administrators to focus their hard-to-find talents on efforts more valuable to the organization than simply keeping the lights on. With Contrail, administrators can control a growing mix of legacy and modern scale-out architectures while automating their operational workflows using software that provides smarter, easier-to-use automation, orchestration and infrastructure visibility.
There are three key aspects to Juniper’s vision for a secure and automated multicloud IT platform: open architecture; software-defined networking with AI for IT and cloud delivery. Now organizations can get all three in one package.
SD-WAN as a Service Using Cloud-Managed Contrail Service Orchestration
In 2018, Juniper launched SD-WAN for deployment using Contrail Service Orchestration on-premises or in a virtual private cloud. SRX Series and NFX Series customers were just a software upgrade away from a fully modern SD-WAN.
Today, Juniper is proud to make our customers’ lives even simpler with SD-WAN as a service. This new cloud-delivered offering redefines ease of use and ushers in the next generation of networking technologies, helping our customers preside over multicloud-era IT.
Partnerships with WAN service providers help Juniper ensure the quality of SD-WAN delivery as hybrid WANs expand and evolve to 5G. Service providers, as well as large integrators like IBM and NEC, are working in partnership with Juniper to deliver best-in class SD-WAN to our customers. Combining Juniper’s innovations with the capabilities of these partners makes SD-WAN and branch modernization easily accessible.
Evolving Enterprise Operations through the SD-Branch and AI for IT
This release incorporates a suite of new capabilities that support secure automation throughout the service deployment lifecycle.
- Design with unprecedented SD-WAN Flexibility: Contrail now supports more variations of passive redundant hybrid WAN links, internet breakout at the WAN edge CPE or centralized WAN hubs and topologies such as hub and spoke, partial mesh and dynamic full mesh. It has also been tested by third-party EANTC at scales above 10,000 spoke sites and is highly multi-tenant, allowing for unprecedented scale.
Simply adding a vSRX Virtual Firewall to your virtual private cloud (VPC) in your IaaS cloud of choice extends SD-WAN capabilities to the cloud, with the vSRX behaving as a spoke device. The vSRX can also act as a cloud-based hub as needed when topology designs call for it. Finally, Contrail can now fully automate the lifecycle of the vSRX on AWS with auto-generated CloudFormation templates.
- Centrally manage branch LAN and WAN: Connecting Juniper’s EX Series Ethernet switches to a single or dual WAN gateway of NFX or SRX Series devices allows customers to centrally automate the WAN and LAN policy and provisioning for secure connectivity. The EX Series switches block threats on the LAN at the port level, all based on policy deployed via Contrail.
- Observe and manage Mist Wi-Fi: Juniper recently blogged about the company’s enthusiasm for the acquisition of Mist Systems. Mist is a leading provider of AI for IT with the world’s first AI-driven wireless LAN. The Mist cloud is now connected to the Contrail management interface, providing visibility into Mist Access Points and their respective connected devices.
- Manage security devices from Contrail: Customers can manage next-gen firewall features of the SRX Series or NFX Series WAN edge devices, including intelligent protection from advanced threats with Juniper Sky ATP. This allows admins to configure and deploy IPsec, NAT and intent-based firewall policies. It also provides visibility into operations such as security events, logs and app-level reports (secure OAM) through Contrail.
- Integrate with ZScaler: Integration of the SD-WAN path with the ZScaler SaaS firewall and unified threat management solution offers more choices for meeting customers’ security needs.
Bikash Koley - 15 April 2019
Executive Partner Blog
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Chief Technology Officer at Juniper Networks